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Scenario: True Leader

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: One of the participants does something that strongly supports their leadership skill.  

Scenario: Different Opinion

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: You ask the team members how we are doing on a scale of 1 – 10. Most of the members say 7 or 8. One says 2.  

Scenario: Testing team

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: The problem presenter decides to test the team but giving mis-information to the team. By the time this becomes apparent, many of the team members are upset to varying degrees.  

Scenario: Question Question Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: A member asks a particularly energizing question, several members follow this with additional questions before there is time for a response.  

Scenario: Group Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: One of the participants asks a question of the entire team, after a single answer the team moves on to the next question.  

Scenario: Passing Notes

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: Someone walks in the room where the team is working and passes a note to one of the participants.  

Scenario: Presenter Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: All of the questions are directed at the problem presenter. After asking the standard 3 questions no one has mentioned this.  

Scenario: Firing Line

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: All of the questions are directed at the problem presenter. During the check-in the problem presenter says – “I feel like I am on a firing line.”  

Scenario: Closed Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: During the last check-in the team agreed that they need to use more open question; yet they continue to ask mostly close questioned. Even with the closed questions, the responses are open. You’ve tried asking “What question are you answering?” they say that one.  You add “What was that question?” They recognize it was a closed question and then give a closed answer. The next closed question the behavior repeats.   

Scenario: Over the top

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: You are coaching a team inside a company. The problem presenter is the owner of that company. The problem person is very verbose and rambles on even after he has answered the question. You’ve asked him: “What question are you answering?” several times. He responds ‘that one’ and continues to add additional information.  

Scenario: Side Conversation

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: As you are opening the session and you start by reinforcing the ground rules. While you are speaking two participants start chatting (they’ve been in many session and already know the rules).  

Scenario: Extended Break

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: When members of the team read their problem statement, what they read is clearly a solution. For instance – “Joe needs to hire me to do a team building activity with his team”.  

Scenario: Solution Statements

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: When members of the team read their problem statement, what they read is clearly a solution. For instance – “Joe needs to hire me to do a team building activity with his team”.  

Scenario: Silo-ed participants

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Each member of the team is focused on their own line of questioning. This becomes particularly clear when participants start asking questions that have been asked by multiple participants.

 

Scenario: Eager Team Member

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team you are coaching insists on answering questions that are being directed to the Problem Presenter

 

Scenario: Long Problem Statement

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the problem presenter to briefly state the problem but the person continues on for an inordinate period of time not only stating the problem but also describing contextual details related to the problem.

Scenario: Refusal to participate

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team does not want to participate.

Scenario: Eye lock

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter locks eyes with you when presenting the problem.

Scenario: Quick Response

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone from the team mentions it hot in here, someone else gets up to turn the air conditioner on.

Scenario: Consensus

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team is having trouble reaching consensus on what the real problem is.

Scenario: Not asked

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the team – “What are we doing well?”, and get a response “We are asking all closed questions.”

Scenario: Open Answer

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the team – “how are we doing on a scale of 1 – 10”, and get a response “I think we could be blah blah blah …”

Scenario: Butting In

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone answers a question that was asked of someone else.

Scenario: Self Conversation

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone answers their own question, without waiting for a response from anyone else.

Scenario: Limited Choice

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks an open question, then follows it with a couple choices for the response.

Scenario: Confirming thought

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A participant makes a statement followed by – “do you agree?”

Scenario: Rapid Fire

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks a series of questions without waiting for an answer.

 

Scenario: Non-leaders

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Some members don’t see the need to practice a leadership skill since they are not leaders.

 

Scenario: Coach Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: 

Some of the group members direct questions to you since they were aware you had knowledge of the situation; despite you repeatedly stating your role as coach.

 

Scenario: The Boss

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

One of the managers questioned the members about their questions. One member got irritated by him and challenged him back.

 

Scenario: Chit Chat

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Two vocal members chit chatted more often with each other. Behavior repeated despite the intervention with team consensus to have one conversation at a time.

 

Scenario: Own World

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Each member is focused on their own line of questioning.

 

Scenario: Out there

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Several members are asking questions unrelated to the problem at hand.

 

Scenario: Too Hot

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: Someone from the team gets up and turns the a/c without checking with the other team members.

Scenario: Brainstorming

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team feels they are at a point that it would be useful to brainstorm.

Scenario: Take charge

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session someone jumps up to the easels and starts capturing what is said.

Scenario: Taking Notes

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session you realize no one is taking notes.

Scenario: Phone Rings

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session a team member’s phone rings and they leave the table to answer it.

Scenario: Non-responsive

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The members were enthusiastic to help the problem presenter. They asked many good questions. However, the problem presenter commented its confidential info and would not answer some of the questions. Members felt they were not able to help the problem presenter much if their questions were not answered and they could not see the value of action learning in this instance. But the problem presenter felt the session was useful to him in addressing his problem.

Scenario: Questions/Answers

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During an intervention you ask “How are we doing taping all the knowledge in the room?” A participant says “We are asking questions and (s)he (the problem presenter) is answering them – isn’t that the rule?”

Scenario: Assumed Rules

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A participant says – “Wait. My question hasn’t been answered. The rule is that you have to answer the question”

Scenario: Oops

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

At the start of the session you ask everyone “if they are ok with the rules” instead of “if they understand the rules” – someone says “no”.

Scenario: Unsolicited Advice

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask a member of the team how they did with their leadership skill. Another member pipes up – I’d like to tell you a technique so you can accomplish that skill. All you have to do is …

Scenario: Story time

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter asks the team to suggest some solutions. The team members start telling stories of their experience. These stories aren’t answering the question – What are some potential solutions.

Scenario: Unkind Gesture

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member arrives to a three hour session one hour late.  You conduct coaching inquiries and he is smoothly integrated into the team.  15 minutes later he is exchanging friendly but sarcastic comments with a team member that end with him using a hand gesture that would cause most folks to take offense to a fellow team member.

Scenario: Too Slow

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You are coaching a leadership development program with a group of senior engineers…One of them is a Six Sigma Black Belt with years of experience in problem solving methods.  During the middle of your second meeting to frame the problem, the Black Belt notes that it is taking way too long to come to agreement on the problem.  Some of the Type A members of the group nod their heads in agreement.

Scenario: Multiple Variables

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team is attempting to analyze the problem situation in a search to identify the one key variable that they can influence or change to create movement in the direction of their established goal or end result. They are debating the relevance of only a few factors and seem to be ignoring the probability that the problem situation was caused or is perpetuated by multiple factors.

Scenario: Multiple Levels

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Every time the team seems close to getting to consensus a question is asked that takes them someplace else. You realize there are two levels that are being looked at – some participants are focused at a single group level (How do I address this with my group?), others at a corporate level (How do I address this with all groups?). 

Scenario: Parody

From Tom Janiak

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle:

In the first session, there is a lot of humor in the team. Participants joke about the the 1st ground rule and answer in a parody manner, e.g. “Dear John, in reply to your question I would venture to say…”. Whenever you ask a serious question, like “what are we doing well?”, first comes a joke and only then a genuine answer.

Guest Authors Welcome

After you have a response post to this blog your status is changed to author. At that point you are free to post your own scenarios. If you are having trouble posting let me know and I’ll make sure your status is Author. Happy Coaching Bea  

Scenario: Overly Focused

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: The team is involved in generating a number of alternative perceptions, ideas, opinions, facts, etc. The team focuses on only one (e.g., debating their merits or validity) and omits other items from explicit consideration.  

Scenario: Problematic Problem Presenter

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter schedules a half hour meeting immediately before the Action Learning session. During this meeting they present their solution to the problem about to be discussed in the Action Learning session.

Scenario: Takeover

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

In the midst of a corporate problem that deals with developing a business development strategy for an organization with declining business, the company is purchased by a large conglomerate.

Scenario: Missing Participants

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team you are coaching is working on a critical corporate problem in a leadership development program. The leadership program and work on the project is scheduled to be completed over six months.  Two of the eight people in the group do not show up routinely.

Scenario: Self Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team asks you – is it ok if I ask myself a question?

Scenario: Broken Trust

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You are doing a leadership development program with 8 peers in a consulting firm.  One of the participants reports that her boss brought an issue with her yesterday that she had discussed in the action learning group a week ago.  She is very upset.  (The problem centered around not being given the responsibility that her boss had promised her when she was hired a year ago.) Additionally, the team had agreed to keep what was said during the Action Learning sessions in the sessions.

Scenario: Intervention timing

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The group has been processing particularly well, but it has been more than 30 minutes since the last intervention.

Scenario: Two Owners

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You have two problem owners for your project. You assume that the problem owners have coordinated the presentation of the problem for the kickoff session. As soon as one starts to present the problem the other interrupts with a very different view of the problem.

Scenario: Missing Action

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A team member did not complete the tasks that she had agreed to do at the session held last month.

Scenario: Poignant Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A particularly poignant question is asked. This is followed by a long silence.

Scenario: Pre-existing Condition

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Two team members were arguing in the hall before the set started. As soon as one says something, the other rolls their eyes and mumbles something under their breath.

Scenario: Low Energy

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team took a break less than 15 minutes ago, since returning the energy in the group is very low.

Scenario: Coaches Advice

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A team member asks if you have any suggestions on how to solve the problem.

Scenario: Obvious Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Listening to the team you realize an obvious question they are missing. If they would just ask “blah blah blah” the true nature of the problem would become clear to everyone.

Scenario: Unavailable Member

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Just prior to the beginning of the meeting, the group is informed that a member has been asked by her boss to handle an emergency, and will not be able to join the group for the first 2 hours of the session.

Scenario: Shifting Solution

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team has reach consensus on the problem and the goal but is having trouble transitioning to the solution phase.

Scenario: Door

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

At the start of the session a participant gets up and closes a door.

Scenario: Windows

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is working on a porch with windows around three sides. As the session starts two participants stand up at the same time. One walks to one side of the room and closes a window, the other walks to the other and opens a window.

Scenario: Bathroom Break

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The session has been going for a long stretch and participants start stepping out to use the bathroom.

Scenario: Going Through the Motions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The participants have been directed to participate in the Action Learning session but believe it’s a waste of time.

Scenario: Distrusting Culture

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A year earlier there was a merger in the organization. All fun elements had been stopped – picnics, team outings and were replaced with ridged procedures. The team was tasked with determining was to bring back fun in the work place. The top HR person on the team is convinced it can’t happen and derails every idea.

 

Scenario: Arrogant Employee

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The teams has been working on fleshing out a breakthrough solution to a problem that has been haunting the organization for years. A long term employee stops by just long enough to tell them it won’t work.

 

Scenario: Laundry List

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team starts brainstorming some great solutions; stopping short of actually developing a fully and clearly implementable plan.

 

Scenario: Agreement

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team seems to be at consensus but continues to question the nature of the real problem.

Scenario: Leading Questions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant is convinced of the true nature of the problem and repeats the same questions over and over in an effort to persuade the others, even after others have made it clear that they don’t agree. Others are seeing what this person is advocating as another symptom – not the real problem.

Scenario: Repetitive Questions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is starting to ask the same questions over and over again.

Scenario: Deep Learning

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

When checking in with the team they have a particularly deep learning around something they identified. You still have one more thing on your list of potential learnings.

Scenario: Learnings

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

During the learning checkin the team has identified all of the learning opportunities you had noted both in terms of what went well and what could be better.

Scenario: Action Assistance

As an Action Learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

After the actions are defined the problem presenter asks for help implementing them.

Scenario: Action Refusal

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant is asked to take an action and declines because they know they do not have time to complete it.

Scenario: Missing Action

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant shows up for a session and has not completed the promised action.

Scenario: Multiple Behaviors

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

At the end of the session, several participants have practiced many of the leadership skills that were written up.

Scenario: Missed Behavior

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

At the end of the session, a participant hasn’t practiced their leadership skill.

Scenario: Opposite Behavior

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant does something in direct contradiction to their chosen leadership skill.

Scenario: Leadership Behaviors

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant does something that strongly exemplifies their leadership skills.

Scenario: Clear Actions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team has clearly reached consensus on the problem and clearly identified the actions that need to be taken. There is still another 45 minutes in the time they allotted for the session. 

Scenario: Prioritized Problems

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The organization has prioritized multiple problems for multiple teams to work on. The teams are arguing that they all need to work on the top priority problem.

 

Scenario: Multiple Problems

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented has a multitude of aspects to it. For instance many sub problems within the main problem.

 

Scenario: Insufficient Time

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented is much bigger than the time allotted.

 

Scenario: Puzzle

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The presented problem is how do I update the operating system on my laptop.

Scenario: Other Problem

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is focusing on a problem in another division that they have no influence over.

Scenario: Too Deep

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

In exploring deeper roots as to what the real problem is the team gets to the point that the real problem is “world hunger”.

Scenario: Team Work

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is working extremely well. Exploring deeper and deeper avenues as to what the problem is.

Scenario: Curious Questions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The participants are asking extraordinarily curious questions.

Scenario: Team Work

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is working extremely well. Exploring deeper and deeper avenues as to what the problem is.

Scenario: Building Questions

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The participants have asked some really powerful questions and are clearly building on each other’s questions.

Scenario: Conflicting Priorities

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Part way through the session, one of the members mentioned a meeting they have that will require them to leave early. Several other participants mention they need to go to the same meeting, leaving only 2 participants for the session.

Scenario: The Race is On

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team races to consensus on the problem. They are saying the same words but have not really talked about what the words mean.

Scenario: New Tool

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

You recently attending training and learned a new way of doing root cause analysis. You know if you share this with the team they will be able to identify the real problem much quicker.

Scenario: Consensus

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team is having trouble coming to consensus.

Scenario:My View

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Hearing the initial statement of the problem you (as coach) are clear what the real problem is. The team heads down a different path with it.

 

Scenario: Rabbit Hole

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team has gotten off track with their questions and is now investigating an unrelated issue.

 

Scenario: One on One

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A single team member is asking all the questions of the problem presenter, the remainder sitting back observing.

 

Scenario: Body Language

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Several team members are sitting with their arms folded across their chest.

 

Scenario: Process Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A team member asks a process question. For instance – I’ve noticed we have all the managers on one side of the table and everyone else on the other. Did anyone else notice this? What’s the impact of that on how we are working together? What do we want to do about it?

 

Scenario: Repeat behavior

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team decides they should be asking each other more questions instead of just asking questions of the problem presenter. However they continue directing all of the problems to the problem presenter.

 

Scenario: Coffee Break

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant gets up from the group to fill a cup of coffee. Well filling their cup it is clear they are fully engaged in the discussion.

Scenario: Catching Up

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A team member isn’t participating. During the checkin they say that they were lost and confused by the discussion and they were trying to figure out what was going on.

 

Scenario: Facilitator

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Someone decides they should start capturing what the team is saying on a flip chart and moves to the front of the room to do so.

 

Scenario: Presenting Problem

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks the problem presenter – How does this present itself as a problem for you?

 

Scenario: Why

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant asks another participant “why they asked a question”. The first participant is visibly disturbed. Your instinct is that they are reacting to the word “why” in that they feel the value of their question is being questioned.

 

Scenario: Please explain

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant asks another participant to explain what the intent behind their question was.

Scenario: Smack

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant ‘playfully’ hits another member on the back of the head.

 

Scenario: Relocating

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team decides it is too beautiful inside to stay indoors and opts to move outside to a picnic table.

 

Scenario: Leg Stretch

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member stands during a session.

 

Scenario: Time Check

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member uses their phone to check the time.

 

Scenario: New Information

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team decides to capture some of the information they are discussing on a flip chart. The person that moves to the flip chart flips the leadership skills out of view.

 

Scenario: Inspiration

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant responds to a question with – What inspired that question?

 

Scenario: Moving On

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant asks a question of everyone and after a single answer another question is asked and the team moves on.

 

Scenario: Multiple Responses

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Lots of statements are made in response to a question that was posed to everyone.

 

Scenario: PP Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter asks a question.

 

Scenario: TMI

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A participant responds to the question they were asked and continues on with additional information that is no longer answering the original question.

 

Scenario: Closed Question

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Early in the process a participant asks a closed question.

 

Scenario: Yes or No

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member responds to a closed question with an open answer.

 

Scenario: Old School

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member makes a particularly prejudicial remark. For instance – women don’t belong in the work force.

 

Scenario: Nerve Hit

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

An extraordinarily deep question is asked. The responder sits quietly for a minute than begins to weep.

 

Scenario: Bad News

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member checks their voice mail during break and receives disturbing news. For instance – they are an emergency room nurse and one of their patients from the night before didn’t make it.

 

Scenario: Enough is Enough

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member bangs their hands on the table and stands angrily.

 

Scenario: Fire

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The fire alarm sounds.

 

Scenario: Nay Sayer

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

All of the team members agree on the problem and a possible solution, but the problem owner insists it won’t work.

 

Scenario: Changing Roles

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

You have changed roles from participant to coach. One of the team members asks you a problem related question.

 

Scenario: Idiot

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team asks another in an angry voice – How can you be such an idiot?

 

Scenario: Wrap It Up

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

You schedule 90 minutes for an Action Learning session. 60 minutes in the team has a clear solution.

 

Scenario: Random Ratings

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Most of the members rate the team at a 5 or 6 for how they are doing as a team. One member rates a 2 another a 9 on a scale of 1 – 10.

 

Scenario: Finish Up

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The team wants the last 15 minutes to finish up the problem instead of doing the final reflection.

 

Scenario: No Offense

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A team member says something very offensive – followed by “no offense”

 

Scenario: Favorite Tool

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

Your favorite tool for diagraming a problem is a mind map. You know doing this would help the team see this problem much more clearly.

 

Scenario: Pulling Rank

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A higher ranking participant of the team decides to pull rank and asks another team member – “Do you want to stay employed?”

 

Scenario: Sit still

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The teams members are locked to the table. They are adhering to the two grounds rules but not making use of any other resources.

 

Scenario: May I?

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

You say “may I do a checkin?” and a team member says “NO”  

Scenario: Exhaustion

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

You’ve been working many hours and the team is clearly exhausted.

 

Scenario: Silent Observer

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team decides they know the problem and the solution, so they will sit quietly until everyone else figures it out.

 

Scenario: Individual Issue

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team doesn’t understand the process and decides “EVERYONE” doesn’t understand.

 

Scenario: Extended Break

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team agreed to a 15 minute break, it’s 30 minutes before you get everyone back in the room and ready to restart.

 

Scenario: Solution Statements

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

When members of the team read their problem statement, what they read is clearly a solution. For instance – “Joe needs to hire me to do a team building activity with his team”.

 

Scenario: Too Slow

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You are coaching a leadership development program with a group of senior engineers…One of them is a Six Sigma Black Belt with years of experience in problem solving methods.  During the middle of your second meeting to frame the problem, the Black Belt notes that it is taking way too long to come to agreement on the problem.  Some of the Type A members of the group nod their heads in agreement.  What do you do?

Scenario: Multiple Variables

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: The team is attempting to analyze the problem situation in a search to identify the one key variable that they can influence or change to create movement in the direction of their established goal or end result. They are debating the relevance of only a few factors and seem to be ignoring the probability that the problem situation was caused or is perpetuated by multiple factors.

Scenario: Multiple Levels

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: Every time the team seems close to getting to consensus a question is asked that takes them someplace else. You realize there are two levels that are being looked at – some participants are focused at a single group level (How do I address this with my group?), others at a corporate level (How do I address this with all groups?).

Scenario: Overly Focused

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team is involved in generating a number of alternative perceptions, ideas, opinions, facts, etc. The team focuses on only one (e.g., debating their merits or validity) and omits other items from explicit consideration.

Scenario: Problematic Problem Presenter

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter schedules a half hour meeting immediately before the Action Learning session. During this meeting they present their solution to the problem about to be discussed in the Action Learning session.

Scenario: Takeover

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: In the midst of a corporate problem that deals with developing a business development strategy for an organization with declining business, the company is purchased by a large conglomerate

Scenario: Missing Participant

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team you are coaching is working on a critical corporate problem in a leadership development program. The leadership program and work on the project is scheduled to be completed over six months.  Two of the eight people in the group do not show up routinely.

Scenario: Self Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone answers their own question, without waiting for a response from anyone else.

Scenario: Limiting Choice

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks an open question, then follows it with a couple choices for the response.

Scenario: Confirming Thought

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A participant makes a statement followed by – “do you agree?”

Scenario: Rapid Fire

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks a series of questions without waiting for an answer.

Scenario: Non-leaders

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Some members don’t see the need to practice a leadership skill since they are not leaders.

A set with 9 or more members

Has anyone encountered a situation with more than 8 people (say 10), all active in an AL set… If yes, it would be interesting to know what happened, any lessons learned…

Question asked in response to a question

I have encountered  this in a session yesterday and I wonder if any one has some creative ideas.. As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the session PP./TM  posed a question to the group and the first response was a question back to her. The question to her was partially related to her question and partially a follow up on the questions that PP was answering just before she posed the question to the group.

Clowning Around

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

One team member begins to make fun of one point the group is discussing. Initially, this is creative and brings happiness to the group. Then this joking is repeated sequentially among team members … a competition emerges to come up with the most creative joke. The group looses concentration and focus on the problem they are suppose to be working on …. They are primarily focused on clowning with each other!

Outlining the problem in a SPAL

When working with a client on a business problem through action learning, I ask the sponsor or problem owner to answer a number of questions, in writing, before the first session starts. I have created a one page form with the following questions: Describe the problem … describing context, history and some basic data, key people and departments involved. Why is solving this important ? What has been tried in the past, and was this partly successful or not successful at all ? What do you expect of the team, in terms of recommendations only, or recommendations and actual implementation ? What would be your definition of ‘success’ of the team addressing this challenge ? What is your experience with asking the sponsor to describe his/her problem ahead of the first meeting ? Do you use any other questions ?

Everybody takes the same action …

During the Single Problem Action Learning session, the coach reminds all team members a few times that they have to think about the actions they will commit to at the end of the session, in preparation for the follow up session. When the coach asks for the actions at the end of the session, several people have listed the same or nearly identical action. How would you react as coach ?

Deliberate Distraction

What do you do as a coach when a team member asks a question which is obviously in no way related to the problem presented?  I.e. the team is working on an organisational culture problem and the next question is “Does anyone in the group have a preference for where we have lunch?”

Sponsor answers questions … and doesn’t stop talking !

The team in a single problem action learning set asks questions to the sponsor (the boss), and in addition to just answering the question, the sponsor talks about the context, history, options, ideas for solutions … and this even when the question asked was a closed one … Even if the team members become aware of this, they struggle – in particular in a high power distance (respect for authority) – to do anything about it. How would you as a coach intervene ?

Scenario: Problem or Puzzle

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented is – I need to upgrade the operating system on my computers

Scenario: Out of Control

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented is outside the control or influence of the problem presenter and the team. For instance: A consultants presents about an organization he does not consult for – Organization A has a culture of fear.

Scenario: Problem Shift

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team is shifting in their understanding of the true nature of the problem. For instance the original problem is presented as “How should we restructure the organization for efficiency?” and they are shifting to “The communication between team members has eroded to the point that we work against each other instead of helping each other.”

Scenario: Uninvited Guest

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

An animal – bird, monkey, or other – enters the room through an open window.

Scenario: Powerful Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone asks a question that changes the depth and understanding of the true nature of the problem.

Scenario: Forgot Skill

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The end of the session comes and someone has not demonstrated their leadership skill.

Scenario: True Leader

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

One of the participants does something that strongly supports their leadership skill.

Scenario: Different Opinion

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the team members how we are doing on a scale of 1 – 10. Most of the members say 7 or 8. One says 2.

Scenario: Testing Team

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter decides to test the team by giving mis-information to the team. By the time this becomes apparent, many of the team members are upset to varying degrees.

Scenario: Question Question Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member asks a particularly energizing question, several members follow this with additional questions before there is time for a response.

Scenario: Group Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

One of the participants asks a question of the entire team, after a single answer the team moves on to the next question.

Scenario: Passing Notes

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone walks in the room where the team is working and passes a note to one of the participants.

Scenario: Presenter Questions

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

All of the questions are directed at the problem presenter. After asking the standard 3 questions no one has mentioned this.

Scenario: Firing Line

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

All of the questions are directed at the problem presenter. During the check-in the problem presenter says – “I feel like I am on a firing line.”

Scenario: Closed Question

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During the last check-in the team agreed that, they need to use more open question, yet they continue to ask mostly close questioned. Even with the closed questions, the responses are open. You’ve tried asking “what question are you answering?” they say that one, you add “what was that question?”, recognizing it was a closed question they give a closed answer and go right back to the behavior of closed question followed by an open answer.

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Scenario: Over the top

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter is the owner of the business you are coaching a team for. Every question he is asked he gives much more information than was asked for. You’ve asked him what question he is answering several times and he says ‘that one’ and continues to add additional information.

Scenario: Side Conversation

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

As you are opening the session and reinforcing the ground rules, two participants start chatting (they’ve been in many session and already know the rules).

Scenario: Extended Break

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team agreed to a 15 minute break, it’s 30 minutes before you get everyone back in the room and ready to restart.

Scenario: Solution Statements

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

When members of the team read their problem statement, what they read is clearly a solution. For instance – “Joe needs to hire me to do a team building activity with his team.”

Scenario: Silo-ed Participants

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Each member of the team is focused on their own line of questioning. This becomes particularly clear when participants start asking questions that have been asked by multiple participants.

Scenario: Eager Team Member

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team you are coaching insists on answering questions that are being directed to the Problem Presenter

Scenarion: Long Problem Statement

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the problem presenter to briefly state the problem but the person continues on for an inordinate period of time not only stating the problem but also describing contextual details related to the problem.

Scenario: Self Conversation

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone answers their own question, without waiting for a response from anyone else.

Rambling “context” before a question is asked

As an action learning coach, how would you respond to the following situation:

A group member provides quite a bit of context before asking the actual question. As a coach you have intervened and asked “I might have missed it, but what was the question you are responding to?” the person then responds with “I’m getting to the question shortly but I needed to provide some context first”….

Scenario: Questions / Answers

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

During an intervention you ask “How are we doing taping all the knowledge in the room?” A participant says “We are asking questions and (s)he (the problem presenter) is answering them – isn’t that the rule?”

Scenario: Assumed Rule

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A participant says – “Wait. My question hasn’t been answered. The rule is that you have to answer the question”

Eager team member

A member of the team you are coaching insists on answering questions that are being directed to the Problem Presenter

Long problem statement

You ask the problem presenter to briefly state the problem but the person continues on for an inordinate period of time not only stating the problem but also describing contextual details related to the problem.

Scenario: Problem Presenter Reiterates Exactly the Same Problem

What do you do as coach if the problem presenter brings along a pre-typed problem statement to use at the beginning of the session, and then reads this out again when asked during the first intervention to write down what they think the problem is now?

Who is the Leader?

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The group was trying hard to identify a leader to “tell” the group what is the problem statement so that they can start finding solutions. They were hoping that the problem presenter or the AL coach would play the ‘leader’ role. The group looks clueless and feeling insecure.

Scenario: Refusal to Participate

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

A member of the team does not want to participate.

Scenario: Eye Lock

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presenter locks eyes with you when presenting the problem.

Scenario: Consensus

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team is having trouble reaching consensus on what the real problem is.

Scenario: Quick Response

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

Someone from the team mentions it hot in here, someone else gets up to turn the air conditioner on.

Scenario: Not Asked

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the team – “What are we doing well?”, and get a response “We are asking all closed questions.”

Scenario: Open Answer

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

You ask the team – “how are we doing on a scale of 1 – 10”, and get a response “I think we could be blah blah blah …”